Alabama among the laziest states, study reveals

Alabama has been ranked as one of the laziest states in the nation, according to a new study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Joining The Heart of Dixie on the CDC’s list are other southern states such as Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. In those states, physical inactivity rates are 29.2 percent or greater for more than 70 percent of the counties.

What’s being measured is not work ethic, amount of time at work or determination. The study surveyed the number of people who spend a portion of their free time being physically active. This includes activities such as running, gardening, playing sports, going for a walk-virtually anything that does not involve the television or computer.

Lisa Jones, senior vice president of the Birmingham YMCA, attributes these findings to the heritage.

“In southern culture, hallmarks of hospitality are food and rest, so we are working against our nature to begin with,” Jones said.

Her belief may be well founded, considering that the most active states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Another study released by, which gets its data from BLS American Time Use Survey over the course of five years, places Alabama as ninth laziest on a list of 20.

According to this study, Alabama residents spend eight hours and 42 minutes sleeping, two hours and 52 minutes watching TV and 35 minutes relaxing. Right there, almost 12 hours of the day has been spent doing nothing.

Not surprisingly, Alabama is tied with Tennessee for second place in obesity levels, with a whopping 31.6 percent obesity rate. Alabama also has a 10.7 percent diabetes rate, which is a big concern, given the recent study.

“Physical activity is crucial to managing diabetes and reducing serious complications of the disease,” said Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “Moderate-intensity activities such as dancing or brisk walking, for just 150 minutes a week, can significantly improve the health of people with diabetes or at high risk for the disease.”

The CDC said it hopes the new study will be used to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Accoding to the CDC, the Lauderdale County physical inactivity rate is 32.4 percent, and the diagnosed diabetes rate is 11.5 percent. The Colbert County rates are 31.4 and 11.8 percent, respectively.